Frequently Asked Questions
- Does this office offer information on all scholarship opportunities?
- How much are scholarships worth?
- Why do I have to be a MA state resident to qualify for scholarships?
- Why are there so few scholarships for graduate students?
- I am a continuing student, why can I not apply for scholarships until I have earned 24 credits here?
- I have a very high GPA. Will I automatically receive a scholarship?
- I already submitted my transcripts to the Admissions office. Why can't they just send a copy to the Office for Merit-Based Scholarships?
- Once I apply, how long do I have to wait for a decision?
- Will a merit-scholarship awarded through this office impact my need-based financial aid?
The Office for Merit-Based Scholarships manages only scholarships offered by or through UMass Boston. We do not manage outside scholarships. If you are already receiving an outside scholarship, you should address all inquiries and concerns to the entity funding the scholarship (a scholarship from your high school or a local business would be an example). Checks for outside scholarships are paid directly to the Bursar's Office. Inquiries about the receipt of checks should be addressed with the Bursar's Office.
Amounts vary for all scholarships. For new students, some scholarships provide for full tuition and fees, others only for tuition, still others for smaller, fixed amounts. Some are renewable; others are one-time awards. Scholarships for continuing students (those who have more than 24 credits at the University and apply through the process for continuing students) range from as little as $250 to as much as $5,000.
As a state institution, benefiting from state tax dollars, residents of the state are entitled to certain privileges at the University. One is paying a reduced tuition rate. The potential to qualify for merit-based scholarships is another benefit limited to in-state residents.
The word "scholarship" implies undergraduate study. Fellowship, assistantships and stipends, which require something of the student in exchange for funding, are more common for graduate study. The Office for Merit-Based Scholarships works almost exclusively with undergraduates. Graduate students should check directly with their college or program director for information regarding these opportunities.
Once you enroll at a new school, you start fresh academically. Your academic record does not come with you, even if you are transferring from another college (credits are transferrable, grades are not). Before we can determine if you are a candidate for a monetary award based on your grades, you need to establish an academic record. We have determined that two semesters of full-time work is usually the minimum threshold on which we will measure eligibility.
Your scholarship application is evaluated based on all of the information you submit. While earning a high GPA and submitting a positive recommendation will certainly help you, the evaluation of your essays is a vital part of the selection process. It is to your advantage to put some thought into how you will respond to the questions asked and to proofread carefully.
It is to your advantage to submit a separate transcript with your scholarship application. A complete application will expedite the qualification and review process. There is not an inter-department infrastructure which allows one office to easily obtain confidential documents submitted to another office.
The scholarship decision making process takes up to three weeks after the final deadline. Committees that include many faculty members evaluate applications on several levels. It is the policy of this office to notify all applicants whether they are selected or not. Therefore, all applicants will know when the process is complete. Notifications and contacts are all made via email.
Yes, it can. This office is required to notify the Office of Financial Aid Services of all awards made. Frequently, financial aid packages include loans which require repayment. If you also qualify for a scholarship, we can often replace the loan with a scholarship that requires no repayment. This reduces your overall indebtedness. In rare cases, if you are receiving full financial aid, you may not be eligible to receive scholarship funding. This is an unlikely, though possible, scenario.